Cancer institutes recommend ways to promote research
New Delhi: Experts from leading cancers institutions, including AIIMS, submitted a set of recommendations to the Union Health Ministry demanding a part of the taxes coming from tobacco industry be reserved for cancer research.
They also strongly advocated strict enforcement of a law to bring down the easy availability of tobacco products.
"15 years ago cervical cancer was the top most cancer type in Indian females in the cities, but today, it is the second most common cancer type next to breast cancer.
"This positive change has become possible because of better education, more hygiene and mass sensitisation strategies for early diagnosis," Prof G K Rath, Chief of Dr B R Ambedkar Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital, AIIMS said adding recent studies indicate that cases of cervical cancer are going down while breast, uterine and gallbladder cancers are on the rise.
"Urbanisation and improvements in living conditions and healthcare have increased life expectancy. As the prevalence of most of the cancers is in higher age group, cancer disease burden is estimated to increase by 30 per cent by 2020. This can pose a huge problem for the authorities as population of senior citizens are estimated to increase upto 25 per cent by 2050.
"The new set of recommendations based on scientific research on lifestyle related cancers will help the ministry in framing effective policies on mass sensitisation and cancer control," said Prof Lalit Kumar, Head of Medical Oncology from the Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital, AIIMS.
As per the 'Three-Year Report of Population Based Cancer Registries: 2009-2011' incidence of cancers including that of the tongue, mouth, colon, rectum, liver, lung and prostate have shown a significant increase in India.
Tobacco smoking alone causes 40 per cent of all cancers such as cancers of the lung, oesophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach and cervix, Rath said.
Second-hand smoke has been proven to cause lung cancer in non-smoking adults. Chewing tobacco also known as smokeless tobacco causes oral, oesophageal and pancreatic cancer.
Infections due to H pylori (stomach), Human Papilloma Virus (cervix), hepatitis B and C (liver), EB Virus (lymphomas) account for 15 to 18 per cent of all cancers, he added.
Concerned with the alarming rise in the cases of cancer, experts from leading cancers institutions of the country held the 30th Round Table Conference on "Lifestyle and Cancer with focus on Cancer Prevention" at AIIMS.
It was organised by Ranbaxy Science foundation.